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February Board Meeting: New Staff! New Members! New Vision! 
AWC-WPAC and Governance | February 2023

We hosted our February board meeting via Zoom, with our Secretary-Treasurer Paula Evans acting as meeting Chair. From there we welcomed our new municipal representatives, Nancy Sand from MD Lesser Slave River, Paul Properzi, Walter Preugschas from County of Barrhead, and Ida Edwards from the Town of Athabasca. 

Petra gave the Treaty Land Acknowledgement, before moving into the adoption of the agenda and the previous meeting minutes (which can be viewed here). At each board meeting, staff give an update on what they’ve been up to. For Petra, that included celebrating her 2-year anniversary of working with the AWC on February 9th, 2023! She is also pleased to welcome new project staff: Caity Seifert, Jason Day, and Hugh Melville! Caity continues to work with us on the Community Drinking Water Resiliency Project. Jason is working on looking at the impacts of climate change on water bodies from a municipal perspective looking to see how municipalities can minimize their impacts on water. Hugh is doing a project on the ponds and dams in the Athabasca watershed. Some are regulated by AER, and some by AEP so Hugh is collating the data and producing a report for us.  

Outreach and Communications updates include completing a newsletter refresh, posting to social media as part of a World Water Day social media campaign, receiving the TD FEF grant money to run the XStream Science program, and helping to promote the Water Management in Alberta’s Boreal conference! 

Sarah’s science highlights from the past few months include completing our benthic invertebrate sampling in October, a fall planting at Jarvie, and hosting a Tawatinaw Open House in Rochester with over 40 attendees! We had a fall meeting of the Pembina working group, and are almost ready to share our exciting news about upcoming work we’re doing in the Pembina. We’ve found our interactive atlas files, so Sarah has been playing around with them in ArcGIS! 

Following staff update, we moved into finance. Petra informed the board that every year we receive a core operational grant from Alberta Environment. We are on track to expend our budget by March 31st of this year. Staff have been busy applying for a number of other grants to help in project implementation moving forward, and will be keeping the board posted. Petra presented a preliminary 2023-2024 operating budget that was approved by the board. 

From there, the board turned to renewing the board terms of reference (including updated vision, mission, and values)! Petra reviewed the previous board terms of reference. Petra proposed changing our vision to “The Athabasca watershed is ecologically healthy, supporting resilient communities and a sustainable economy” and the mission to “To demonstrate leadership and facilitate informed decision-making in the Athabasca watershed by bringing stakeholders and Indigenous peoples together to achieve our shared vision”.  

The proposed changes were approved by consensus.  

We’re excited to have a refreshed vision and mission to guide our work moving forward!